"Energy Efficiency is at the heart of energy affordability." Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation

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Berkeley Farms Earns Rebate for Energy-Efficient Compressor

HAYWARD – A new air compressor installed at Berkeley Farms’ facility here saves the company money on energy costs and earned the company big rebate checks.

The energy-efficiency move was recognized today (April 4) by Hayward Mayor Mike Sweeney at a meeting of the city’s Sustainability Council. Berkeley Farms got a nearly $110,000 check from PG&E and another $45,000 from the city of Hayward with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Berkeley Farms’ new system includes an efficient variable-speed compressor, new automatic controls, dedicated storage for high-volume intermittent demand, and high-efficiency nozzles. Six high efficiency nozzles replaced the open blowing application of the previous equipment and reduced the system demand by 15 percent, and the dedicated storage keeps the plant pressure consistent around the clock.

As a result, the company will slash its annual energy consumption by more than 1 million kWh—saving the dairy about $100,000 on its utility bill every year.

Learn more about the California model for energy efficiency

“For Berkeley Farms and the broader Dean Foods dairy network, sustainability is not only about being a better corporate citizen, but also a way to streamline our business and seek efficiencies,” said David Smydra, engineer and maintenance manager for Berkeley Farms. “The incentive programs from PG&E and city of Hayward came along at just the right time for us. The opportunity to improve efficiency, offset other rising costs, and generate a capital project investment payback in under a year is something we wish we could replicate across the country.”

Berkeley Farms previously operated two fixed-speed compressors running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This equipment consumed more than 3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year, resulting in annual electricity costs of $277,000.

“We are proud to help local establishments like Berkeley Farms that demonstrate true environmental leadership,” said Tom Guarino, a senior government relations representative working in the East Bay for PG&E. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the city of Hayward to encourage other local businesses and residents to become more energy efficient.”

This story originally appeared on pgecurrents.com.